Parents Need to Know the Diverse Signs of Troubled Teen Behavior

The importance of parents identifying troubled teen behavior can’t be stressed enough. Adolescence is a difficult time for teens. It’s a stage when they start to mature, experience mood swings, express more rebellious attitudes, plus crave independence, and social acceptance among their peers.

These are all natural characteristics, but it’s pertinent to be aware of more serious, troubled teen behavior. They can be diverse as much as they can be extreme. According to an article on, troubled teens will repeatedly demonstrate many at-risk characteristics but may also express signs of mental health symptoms such as depression or other mental disorders.

So, what exactly are the signs?

There are many. Here are a few to understand as outlined by the Georgetown Behavioral Institute.

Excessive Sleep and Unusual Eating Habits

Its adolescence when teens discover the joys of sleeping late and experience increases in appetite as their body grows and matures. While this is completely normal, some signs to watch for include, sleeping abnormally long (or not at all), as well as over or under eating with quick weight gain or sudden weight loss.

Risk Taking/Frequent Substance Abuse

It’s quite natural for teens to focus more on their social life, including going out on weekends and spending more time with peers. This is also when they may come into contact with alcohol and illegal (or legal) drugs. Some signs to be aware of include, excessive substance use, delinquency, habitually ignoring house rules, and getting into frequent confrontations with the law.

Extreme Isolation

Wanting “alone time” and independence is one aspect to not overlook, especially if it gets to the point where they don’t want to spend time with either family or friends, and avoid all social activity – including sports or extracurricular activities.

There are varying degrees of adolescence behavior, and just because a teen shows some signs of rebellion or independence, doesn’t necessarily mean they are exhibiting signs of something more serious.  However, if problems develop to the point of being concerned, it’s best to seek guidance from a troubled teen program or other troubled teen service, with a professional councilor or even a psychologist.

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